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Kerala Governor shares videos of 2019 heckling incident; claims police stopped from making arrests

Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan releases footage of the heckling he encountered during his speech in the Indian History Congress address in Kannur in 2019

Kerala Governor shares videos of 2019 heckling incident; claims police stopped from making arrests
First Published Sep 19, 2022, 12:47 PM IST

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday presented evidence to the media about a Rajya Sabha member, who is currently a part of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office, trying to stop the police from performing their duty and arrest those who heckled him during his  2019 Indian History Congress address in Kannur.

Sharing some video clips of the incident, the Kerala Governor said that the heckling was part of a conspiracy to frighten him into not speaking in public. Before releasing the videos, the Governor cited Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code, which terms any assault upon the Governor as an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine.

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"These things happen in a state where people are arrested for wearing black shirts. The police personnel tried to control the situation and stopped the people from reaching me. Chief Minister's Private Secretary KK Ragesh can be seen in the video preventing the police from discharging their functions," he said while the video was shown. To note, Ragesh was a member of the Rajya Sabha in 2019 when the protest happened against the Governor during the Indian History Congress address in Kannur. Later, Ragesh was appointed as the private secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The protesters came with big placards, which could not have been prepared spontaneously, the Governor said, adding that the people who were heckling him were not from Kerala but rather from Jamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Aligarh Muslim University. 

The Governor claimed that Ragesh came down from the stage while his address was still on and stopped the police. He went on to lament that Kerala is ruled by a front with a convener who is banned from travelling by air.

The Governor also released to the media letters written by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to him assuring that there would be no government interference in the affairs of state universities.

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